VAT and Golf Clubs
The test case regarding Visitor Fee Income was heard at the First Tier Tax Tribunal on 21st and 22nd February 2011. The decision of the Tribunal was released to HMRC and Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club on Wednesday 1st June. The Tribunal found in favour of Bridport (and therefore against HMRC) confirming that green fees paid by visiting non-members are exempt from VAT. HMRC had 56 days to appeal this decision and they did so 27th July 2011. The Upper Tier Tribunal heard the appeal by HMRC on 9th and 10th July 2012. However, the Tribunal has sought assistance from the European Court of Justice on two parts that will assist the Tribunal in coming to a decision. It is not expected that the decision will be released until the late summer of 2013.
For the latest summary and FAQ dated March 2013 see "Visitor Fee Income - March 2013 Update" in the Related Documents section on the right.
12 August 2011 - VAT Update on Visitor Income Tribunal Case - HMRC
lodged appealHMRC has lodged an appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal - click here for further information
13 June 2011 - VAT Update on Visitor Income Tribunal Case
Official Decision releasedThe First-Tier Tribunal has released its decision on the Bridport & West Dorset case. HMRC has 56 days in which to lodge an appeal. As such, clubs should continue to account for VAT on visitor green fee income until it has been confirmed whether HMRC is going to appeal the decision or not.
Click here for more information on how this may affect your club, how to access the full decision and contact details for our recommended VAT advisors, Vat Services.
6 June 2011 - VAT Update on Visitor Fee Income Tribunal CaseWe are advised that Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club has won its case at the First-Tier Tribunal, successfully arguing that Visitor Fee Income received by Members' Clubs is exempt from VAT and not standard rated (as viewed by HMRC). The full details of the decision has not yet been published and HMRC has 56 days in which to lodge an appeal. As such, clubs should continue to account for VAT on visitor green fee income until it has been confirmed whether HMRC is going to appeal the decision or not..
Click here for more information on how this may affect your club and contact details for our recommended VAT advisors, VAT Services.
Important Implications of VAT Rate Increase on De MinimisMany sports clubs are subject to the VAT partial exemption rules whereby if exempt input tax in any year is less than £7,500 it can all be reclaimed but if it exceeds this limit then it is all lost. With the increase in the VAT rate to 20% in January 2011, many small clubs will find it difficult to keep below the limit and will have to find additional funds for VAT. We have written to The Treasury and to selected MSP’s and MP’s to request a review of the threshold.
A summary outlining this issue and letters sent to The Treasury and MP's/MSP's are available to view in Related Documents on the right of this page.
2010 - Changes in Rules Governing submission of VAT ReturnsGolf Clubs with a turnover greater than £100,000 must begin to submit VAT returns and payments online for any accounting period commencing on or after 1 April 2010. For further details see the "VAT returns online submission" document in Related Documents.
VAT can be an awkward and complex area for Golf Clubs. Many Clubs report they have difficulty in ensuring the VAT Returns (including the Partial Exemption Annual Adjustment) are accurate.
In addition, there have been a number of occasions recently where clubs may have had cause to investigate potential claims on overpaid VAT.
We have met with Gary Moore of VAT Services and although the SGU and SLGA do not endorse the services of VAT Services, clubs may find Gary’s expertise of value, both in terms of ongoing VAT advice and also on any potential claims.
Gary can be contacted on 0141 636 9353 or alternatively his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related DocumentsVisitor Fee Income - March 2013 update (112KB)
Visitor Fee Income - August 2011 Update (113KB)
Visitor Fee Income-Official Decision, June 2011 (103KB)
Visitor Fee Income-June 2011 Update (60KB)
Summary on Golf Clubs and de minimis (126KB)
Letter to Rt Hon D Alexander MP (144KB)
Letter to Menzies Campbell MSP (143KB)
VAT Returns - online submission (50KB)
VAT Members Subs 29.01.08
VAT Members Subs 27.02.08
VAT Green Fees 26.11.08
VAT Green Fees updated 22.12.08
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